Monday 18 December 2017

Larkin can hit layers with 'Demolition' at Leopardstown

Total Demolition can take tonight’s Manguard Plus Handicap. Photo: Getty Images
Total Demolition can take tonight’s Manguard Plus Handicap. Photo: Getty Images

Johnny Ward

'Big Jim' Larkin went down in history for bringing Dublin to a standstill and namesake John can do the same to the Leopardstown betting ring this evening.

The Co Louth trainer's Total Demolition continues to hinder his prospects by breaking tardily but he can take tonight's Manguard Plus Handicap. He found the mile a little sharp at Limerick last weekend, yet he stayed on nicely, and he should have plenty of time to find his stride in a small enough field at Leopardstown.

He likes quick terrain, has a perfect draw and he won easily at this track just over a year ago. Everything looks in place.

By the track's standards, this is a pretty poor card, laden with handicaps. However, it has betting potential, the nightcap perhaps most intriguing in that regard.

A staying handicap, it contains at least three horses which seem thrown in on Flat form, and a chance is taken on King's Wharf for Gavin Cromwell. The negative is a shocker of a draw in 16; hopefully Rory Clery has a plan. He is a near-formality for a Flat success this year given his rating of 45.

Leopardstown gurus are working on a name for its new jumps festival in February. Before all of that, hooves will rattle, and Xenobia can take the auction maiden for the in-form Bill Farrell.

Caravaggio, even-money, is one of 12 declarations for a superb renewal of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot tomorrow. Harry Angel excelled on his last start at Haydock and has been declared by Clive Cox, as has the Charlie Appleby-trained Blue Point.

Dual Classic heroine Winter (4/7 ante-post) is the stand-out contender in the Coronation Stakes and just six others were declared, two of which being Winter's stablemates at Ballydoyle in Hydrangea and Roly Poly.

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